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UK sets new record for longest period of coal-free electricity generation

The UK has set a new record for the longest period of coal-free electricity generation in the country, reports National Grid. The previous record of 18 days, 6 hours and 10 minutes – set in June 2019 – was broken on the morning of 28 April 2020, marking over 438 hours and 10 minutes since the last coal generator came off the system at midnight on 9 April.

April 2020 has already been a record-breaking month for renewable electricity in the UK, with a new solar generation record of 9.68 GW set on 20 April 2020, according to National Grid. Earlier in the year, February became the ‘greenest month on record’ for UK electricity generation, with average carbon intensity – the measure of CO
2 emissions produced per kWh of electricity consumed – reaching a new low.

‘Weather continues to play the central role in determining the mix of electricity, but reduced levels of electricity demand play a role too,’ comments National Grid. ‘Lockdown measures in place since late March have seen a significant reduction in demand across the country, with an increase in domestic consumption being outweighed by reduced industrial demand. The change in demand, along with frequent sunny and windy spells across the country, are all contributing factors to the latest records.’

The company is aiming to be able to operate the UK’s electricity system entirely with zero carbon sources by 2025.

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